Horror movies might seem like the obvious choice for a night in with your date on Halloween, the scariness leading to inevitable cuddling. Yet the cannon of less terrifying spooky flicks can give you more helpful romance advice than your average self-help book. And really, do you want to watch a bunch of movies that teach you that after you have sex you’ll get chopped up by an ax murderer? Or how about one that shows you that even after a few indiscretions (ranging from marrying another to sleeping with a manic transsexual) your partner will be all too happy to take you back or at least join you in a water orgy. That’s the kind of lesson I want to learn as I slowly slip into a candy coma.
1. Learn a language together [The Addams Family]
Gomez and Morticia are like the PDA-obsessed goth couple you went to high school with. You don’t necessarily want to model your relationship after there’s, but you do catch yourself watching their passionate exchanges wistfully. So take a class in one of the romance languages together. Besides having something you’ll both share, saying I love you in Spanish or Italian just sounds sexier.
How to Score: Seven Tips from Beavis and Butthead
2. Tackle a project together [Hocus Pocus]
Nothing brings a couple together like battling the forces of evil. It might be hard to come up with century old witches to fight, but you can still pick a couples’ goal and meet it. Go geocaching (treasure hunting with your iphone) or train for a marathon.
3. Listen to your family and friends’ opinion [Addams Family Values]
There’s a difference between your mother thinking a guy is wrong for you or your brother thinking you could do better and your entire roster of Facebook friends imploring you to dump the deadbeat. Love is blind, but your friends and family aren’t. If you trust someone’s opinion on the shirt you’re thinking about buying, listen when they weigh in on your choice of partner.
4. Don’t knock it until you try it [The Rocky Horror Picture Show]
Maybe you’re not the kind of person who wants to dress you up matching corsets and garters with your significant other, but that doesn’t mean you can’t break out of your rut. Your daring deed could range from a shopping spree at your friendly neighborhood adult superstore to sitting down together to watch Rocky Horror.
5. Be Open to Blind Dates [Corpse Bride]
Blind marriages are a little extreme, but getting set up by a friend can be fun. And even if you don’t fall madly in love, you often get a good story out of it. Try to keep it as surprising as possible, forgoing the Facebook investigation or even grilling your friend for information. Blind dates are more exciting then blurry ones.
Reel for Real: Rating the Dates in Breakfast at Tiffany’s
6. Remember to Share [Casper]
A ghost kid was ready to share his dead mother’s dress and the entirety of his much needed resurrection juice, and your being territorial about your cereal? Fork over your chapstick if he asks for a little or offer a bite of your hamburger. The dating tips you learned in kindergarten are some of the most important.
7. Don’t Jump to Conclusions [Sleepy Hollow]
Yes giant pentagrams left by your crush under your bed can seem suspect, so can “lolcats” your girlfriend leaves on her ex’s Facebook wall. But sometimes occult symbols are drawn for protection, and “I can haz cheeseburger” has no flirty meaning.
8. Take Stress in Stride [Beetlejuice]
You may feel justified getting a little short with your guy after a long day at work, but the flannel-house dress duo from Beetlejuice die and still keep it together. They leaned on each other and worked toward a common goal rather than jumping down each other’s throats. So paint the apartment together, and keep the volume way, way down on 30 Rock while she’s working
Scary Love Stories to Tell in the Dark
9. Listen to Each Other [The Nightmare Before Christmas]
Listening to Sally’s premonition of Christmas-tinged doom could have saved Jack a lot of trouble, and you could have avoided a bad job interview if you had listened to your boyfriend and skipped the Grey’s Anatomy marathon the night before. You might not have to agree on your new shoes or even your new car, but getting their opinion on the full back tattoo you’re contemplating might be helpful. They must have some taste if they’re with you, right?
10. Don’t Dream it, Be it [The Rocky Horror Picture Show]
Pretty self explanatory. Also, remember it’s the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane. Molly is getting her MFA in writing for children and young adults at The New School. Her pieces have appeared on Nerve.com, Crushable.com, Thefastertimes.com, Ology.com and many other sites. She tweets at @molly_horan.